Closer to the Root Cause

An equipment malfunction likely caused the communications disruption between a squadron of 50 Minuteman ICBMs and their overseers in Wyoming on Oct, 23, Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, head of Air Force Global Strike Command, said Tuesday. “Our initial sense is this is an equipment malfunction that took place in one of the launch control centers within that particular squadron. When that launch control center could be isolated and shut down, normal communications, normal status monitoring with the 50 missiles was restored,” Klotz told reporters in Washington, D.C. Klotz said an operational review board is working to determine the incident’s root cause and identify materiel and procedural solutions to prevent its recurrence. He expects to receive the review’s findings before month’s end. Klotz also praised airmen’s response to the malfunction. “They worked in a very disciplined, expert fashion” to restore the communications within about 46 minutes and secure the missiles in the field, he said.